Your 3 yr. old (cont.): Mounting and Dismounting, by Jackie Brittain

Mounting and dismounting your 3 yr old horseNow that you are ready to sit astride your three year old, ask yourself what is the best approach to do so.

There are risks in mounting and dismounting a horse of any age and it is something we need to give more attention and develop habits of good technique.

Consider the moments you are in between the ground and the saddle and you will realize that proper attention should be given to this part of your ride. Not to place any worry, but care and awareness to the process, especially for a green horse.

A very well known instructor was giving me a lesson for the first time and he really impressed me by beginning the lesson by asking to check my helmet, check the girth and equipment.

To mount your horse, a good practice is to turn the horses head toward you by shortening the left rein and therefore having full attention to the one side and also having the horse angled toward the rider for more control. If a fence corner is available, I also like to use it to mount if no one is available to stand by the horses head.

Check the equipmentPlace your foot in the stirrup and smoothly step up and swing your right leg over the back and sit quietly in the saddle and relax the rein.

I then like to stroke the horses neck and talk softly to the horse and maintain the halt. Your horse should remain at the halt and not walk or move away. I insist on good manners while mounting and the horse should stand until asked by the rider to move.

Equally the horse should stand for the dismount in a mannerly and respectful way. This builds a safe and happy working relationship with your horse. And to establish these intentions at the beginning and end of a ride will carry through to every aspect of working with your horse.


Jackie Brittain
Merriewold Trainer